After the 2013 military coup that took place in Egypt with the instructions of the U.S. and Israel, Egypt has most recently signed the death sentences of 75 people, again under the tutelage of these two countries.
On the same day, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo signed off on $1.2 billion in foreign military funding to Cairo. The timing of the release of the aid is of significance and is being evaluated as an award to Egypt’s junta regime.
An Egyptian court on Saturday delivered death sentences to 75 people, including prominent figures of the Muslim Brotherhood, Essam al-Erian and Mohamed Beltagi, over a 2013 sit-in that ended with security forces killing hundreds of protesters.
The sentencing, which included jail terms for more than 600 others, concluded a mass trial of people accused of murder and inciting violence during a protest at Rabaa Adawiya square in Cairo.
The decision can be appealed within 60 days.
Death sentence for Muslim Brotherhood leaders
Among those who received the death sentence are the Deputy Head of the Freedom and Justice Party Islam al-Uyran, Muslim Brotherhood Shoura Council Member Abdulrahman al-Ber, Muslim Brotherhood leader Muhammed Beltagi, Al-Jamaatu al-Islamiyyah leaders Abdulmajeed and Tarek al-Zumer.
Those who have been sentenced in absentia will be retried in the case that they are arrested or voluntarily turn themselves over to the police.
The coup regime’s “mufti” approves sentences
On July 28, an Egyptian court handed down a preliminary death sentence against 75 defendants in connection with the dispersal of a major protest camp in Cairo in 2013, according to a judicial source.
The court referred the defendants to the so-called “Grand Mufti” of the Sisi regime, Egypt’s top religious authority, for consideration of the death penalty against them over charges ranging from murder to blocking roads.
Egyptian law requires courts to refer cases to the Mufti for consideration of the death penalty ahead of a final verdict, although his decision is non-binding.
Death sentences have been handed down to hundreds of Sisi’s political opponents on charges such as belonging to an illegal organization or planning to carry out an attack. Often the sentences are not carried out, but rights groups say hangings have increased in recent years, with dozens taking place each year.
Heavy sentence against Morsi’s son
A total of 374 defendants were slapped with aggravated jail sentences reaching 15 years, including Mohammad Morsi’s son Usama who was slapped with a sentence of 10 years in jail.
Twenty-two defendants were given 10 years each in jail, while Mahmoud Abdulshukur, who was filming the protests, received 5 years in jail, along with 215 other defendants.
Five defendants were cleared after passing away before the verdict.
Mohammed Badie gets life sentence
In total, sentences were handed down for 739 people, 300 of whom are detained, including Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Mohamed Badie and MP of the Al-Wasat Party Essam Sultan who were both among the 47 people receiving life sentences.
Rabaa square was the single most deadly incident in unrest which followed the 2011 popular uprising that toppled Egypt's longtime leader Hosni Mubarak.
Since Morsi’s overthrow, Egyptian authorities launched a relentless crackdown on dissent, killing hundreds of his supporters and sending thousands behind bars.